Sunday lunch today is avocado and jalapeño on rye. Ostensibly because I am lazy. Weekends are supposed to be exclusively my domain for sourcing food and making it palatable. It’s been windy of late so we’ve harvested loads of avocados that have fallen down. That and pretty much the only thing left in my vegetable garden are jalapeños and some melt your face off version of a habanero… which are actually too hot for me. Even some of my co-workers who can tolerate exceptionally virulent levels of capsaicin are weary of this particular pepper.
In any event, procuring fresh rye from the bakery early this morning I amused myself by judging a struggling father with his three young daughters. He’d most likely been excommunicated from his domicile by the wife with instructions to… take yourself and these hellions and give me an hour of peace. (at least this is the narrative that I interjected into the images as he attempt to herd his girl children more or less in one uniform direction)
Filling in the rest of the blanks in my recital I decided that he had procreated and received two girls and then decided to have another go at it in the hopes of a boy. Serves you right I mused with a very real sense of schadenfreude as I slurped the foam off the top of my latte. Of course I have no idea if any of my fiction I assigned this hapless individual is even remotely true. But since this is my story I figure it doesn’t really matter.
In my mind he broke a universal ethical by-law… that one that says you should only ever (as a maximum upper limit) procreate in order to replace yourself and your breeding partner and once you hit that limit its game over. He needed to pay for his crimes (against humanity).
Of course then I started ruminating, having postulated a theory, if what I had just conceptualised I actually believed to be right and true. Broadly I suppose (and with some reticence that I admit this) I probably do believe it is unethical to breed a number more than your replacements. Of course my mind immediately threw up some caveats to this rule. What if the third child was adopted. Yes… that would be okay. What if the third child was an accident, yes… I suppose that would also be okay, since there wasn’t a wilful, premeditated plan to overpopulate the planet. What if, you’d done the math and taken into account all those that had opted for no children or just a single child in your quest to even things out. Hmm. I was less certain about this… so I decided this was likely out of my area of expertise since I have actually no idea what a sustainable human population size is… and really this was all based on a feeling that there are just too many Homo Sapiens on holy terra and really who am I to exert my morality on those around me….
If you want to, and have the means, breed yourself into oblivion for all I care. As a libertarian I obviously feel quite strongly about having the fiscal means to support your brood. Since while it is certainly in your capability to breed a football team in sires, I feel it is very unfair to expect other people to help you pay for them. That nice hippy couple that has the good sense to swallow the kids should not have to subsidise your spawns education etc with their taxes. And neither should I.
This probably means I think that only people with means should breed.
Which sounds a little eugenist when I sound it out. The reality I suppose is that children born into a society where their costs cannot be supported by the parents must be borne by every other person in that society. Which erodes the freedom of everyone of those members. That and I suppose my intractable belief in taking personal responsibility for ones actions probably makes this all an inviolable talking point.
Which makes me feel very conservative all of a sudden. Happy for you guys to mow my lawn for minimum wage, but don’t you dare think about having any kids. Seriously… I will have you deported. Ok, time for church!